Sunday, November 26, 2017

the rest of the story

I am in love with Mexican medicine.

And, because it is love, not all of my affections are rational. But this one is.

I forgot to tell you about the best part of my dental visit to Dr. Pimienta on Friday (moving to mexico -- fixing the teeth). After he had cemented my old tooth into my Cumberland Gap, I asked him if I should avoid eating anything hard with that tooth.

After all, I am a son of the north. I am accustomed to hearing the usual medical recitation of "dont's" that any Pentecostal would admire. Don't eat anything hard. Nothing hot. Nothing cold. Nothing chewy. Avoid wearing blue with brown. Never withdraw funds early from an IRA.

You have all heard the drill. A person dons a white coat and starts believing he is my mother.

So, I was nonplussed when Dr. Pimienta started the list. Nothing hard. Chew only on the left side.

He then broke out in a smile. "Do you really want a list of things you cannot do? Why not just enjoy life? If it falls out, we can put it back in."

And there it is in a nutshell. The cultural difference between Up North and Mexico.

I am not certain when it happened, but some time between the 1950s (when life seemed to be a parade of wonders) and the 1990s, northern culture decided to set up housekeeping on Neurotic Lane -- where no fear or slight goes unnoticed. If you have ever sat next to the formerly fat woman at a dinner party who now wears a size 1, exercises every other half hour, and can recite her "numbers" faster than the names of her children, you know exactly what I mean.

Northerners have created their own "don't" society. Peanuts. Filet mignon. Pâté de foie gras. Veal. President Grant. What were once the center of a good life are now signs of barbarity.

Not here. If you want veal, you can have your fill until you run out of pesos. If you want music, crank it up full. If you are concerned about your weight, order another taco and forget about it. No one is going to chide you.

Mexico has its drawbacks. But medical care and a practical view of life are not amongst them.

And I love it. Just make certain the "numbers"-citing dinner party guest stays on the north side of the Rio Bravo.


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